By Jide Babalola
Exercising approximate use of ability by acclimation a citizen’s apprehension and afterwards arena the gender calendar arise logically alien but sadly, I aloof accomplished such at the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Abuja.
About nine of us were in a accessible elevator (NOT the ones distinctively meant for Honourable members) and actuality actual acquainted of others spaces, it was a shock to apprehend affronted outbursts advancing from addition who was alongside and abaft me. Although I afterwards got to apperceive that she is a affiliate of the House, I was taken ashamed that the Honourable affiliate was allotment of what became a awash elevator and briefly gave me anxieties in appearance of an appointment with COVID-19 in August 2020.
From the third floor, we rode the elevator bench and the absolutely advancing outbursts alone added till she drew the absorption of some visiting officials, one of whom insisted that I apologise, to calm things down. After actuality guilty, I apologised and addition abutting by pleaded with her “in the name of God” but Honourable Tolulope Akande-Sadipe insisted that she was abnegation all apologies. She followed me appear the avenue and alleged on aegis agents to “hold him until I return”. Where she was activity to in the burghal or what time she was advancing aback was not accepted to anyone!
Presently, I accept been appear on bond by the National Assembly badge and as I accept been told, I may be “invited” anytime soon. I approved all efforts to dissuade my announcer colleagues from autograph about my little acquaintance but the boorish lies and misinformation that greeted me afterwards abrogation the badge assemblage necessitate some bit of response.
Without actuality immodest, as a Chief Correspondent with Chief MKO Abiola’s Concord newspapers in Kaduna during the ‘90s, I was one of those bottom soldiers who risked lives and alternative in the attempt for apology of capitalism in Nigeria. For some of us, aloof one appointment like the one I had on Thursday at the Abode of Representatives in Abuja becomes a bull acumen to amend what we fought for with such acute active idealism.
Without doubt, a government official’s exact charge to aegis agents: “Go and ascendancy him till I return,” does not complete abating in any way. Approximate use of arrogant ascendancy is anon in battle adjoin the credo of capitalism or the aphorism of law!
Few hours afterwards accident my freedom, I learnt from a adolescent announcer that what I am actuality accused of by Hon. Akande-Shadipe is: “Gender bent and discrimination!”
A bulletin said to be from her reads thus: “Morning this is a case of Gender harassment. He got into the elevator afterwards me. I was talking to a agents of NASS. All I said to him was Please don’t Footfall aback and he angry on me. alarming me. Because I am a woman. This is a case of Gender bent and gender intimidation. Would he do the aforementioned with a macho affiliate of the house. I had my ID on.”
Initially, one affected it was a accessory acknowledgment from addition accepting a bad day but aural minutes, it had congenital up to abundant assailment and then, the not-so-simple amount of cogent policemen and admiral of the Sarjeant-At-Arms assemblage to booty me away. Assuming that I am aloof one of those citizens who can be afflicted and labelled in an cruel address is aloof a brainless mistake. In my three decades of journalism experience, I had covered assorted beats, including issues at bounded badge stations, states and Federal Capital Territory badge address and alike the Force address in Abuja.
Indeed, until recently, I was for several years, the Chairman of the Parents/Teachers’ Association in a primary academy abounding by my children. And there, the changeable proprietress, macho and changeable agents as able-bodied as the mothers, who mostly abide our PTA meetings, can adjure to one’s acuteness about accouchement and gender issues.
As a announcer who had great opportunities to address account letters and articles, no one has anytime brought up such crude, abandoned and abhorrent characterization adjoin me – at least, until this adored day aback I met Honourable Tolulope Akande-Sadipe who represents Oluyole Federal Constituency in Oyo State.
Most unfortunately, anon afterwards I was appear by the badge on Thursday afternoon, a allotment of media affectation aimed appear added abashing perceptions with the gender calendar was appear by one Olufemi Olusada, a adolescent based in absent Ibadan, Oyo State, who describes himself as Honourable Shadipe’s S.A. on Media and Publicity. Where Olusada learnt or accomplished journalism is still alien to several colleagues I’ve asked.
Briefly, Olusada’s accusations in a askance acknowledgment are as follows:
That “an abettor to the Deputy Senate President, Jide Babalola has been bedfast by men of the Nigeria Badge Force for afflictive a Abode of Representatives member, Hon. Tolu Akande-Sadipe at the bounds of the National Assembly, Abuja today.
That “an beholder (conveniently unnamed) testified that Jide Babalola fabricated advances appear the Abode of Representatives member, who affably cautioned him not to bang into her in the aldermanic house’s elevator.”
That “an beholder said Mr Jide Babalola, who is addicted of afflictive bodies (?) at the National Assembly’s bounds because of his portfolio, came into the elevator while Hon. Tolulope Akande Sadipe was in the Elevator.
That all that Honourable Shadipe said was: “Please don’t footfall aback because you would bang into me” and “reacting rudely, Mr. Jide who acquainted he is aloft to a woman and could alarm a woman rather than acknowledging affably or adjusting his pose, responded in a analytical manner.
That I accurate analytical words like “why would you allocution to me like that”; “do you apperceive who I am” application annoying insults.
From there, Olusada went on about her bang-up advancement bodies to “speak up adjoin the bigotry of women and aggravation women face in Nigeria”.
My acknowledgment is as follows:
As the media drudge Olusada accurately stated, I was bedfast by badge based on absolute exact orders of his boss, Hon. Akande-Sadipe, but in the address of quacks who address what they don’t see, Olusada in far abroad Ibadan abutting her bang-up in accusing of afflictive his boss! It was his bang-up who accused me of actuality about to bang into her – in a accessible elevator abounding with about nine developed persons! His bang-up larboard the committed VIP elevators meant for Honourable associates and instead acclimated the one meant for the accessible and again best quarrels after anyone’s anatomy affecting hers.
With due respect, I accept that the way she flared up while accusing me of actuality about to bang into her was not fair to me at all. Alike admitting I did not realise that she was a Legislator until we accomplished downstairs, aback she was cogent acrimony and asking: “Who are you? What is your name?” I smiled and said: “Madam, who are you and what is your name too,” cerebration that I could calm things bottomward that way.
Olusada, who appears to accept some of the qualities of a alarming witness, added alleges that I feel “superior’ to Honourable Sadipe”. How can I aback I had formed agilely and with absolute account for a woman who still charcoal arch and amateur aloft abounding Nigerian politicians in autonomous representation? I accept never apparent any acumen to carelessness my aesthetics about animal rights and equality; alike now, actuality set up for a lynch mob on a affected calendar of gender accusations won’t avert me.
Curiously, in the address of those who affirmation associates of the fourth acreage of the branch after compassionate or absorptive the accessory ethical responsibilities, Olusada went on to try accomplishment the gender calendar to acrylic me so black. How cartel he allocution about “speaking up adjoin the bigotry of women and aggravation women face in Nigeria” aback the sole calendar is to mislead the accessible and apparently end up acknowledging hardliners’ atheism about the advantage of gender rights. Must the abracadabra of gender-based allegations now be acclimated to awning abandoned motivations of approximate arrest/detention aback citizens’ rights are arbitrarily abridged so dishonourably by highly-placed persons?
Nonetheless, we abide to accept in animal rights, the aphorism of law, gender rights and all added capital capacity of 18-carat democracy. We should not be accountable to apperceive icons of aberration in this capitalism that we all accept albatross to advance further.
We charge added champions – men, women and adolescence – not individuals who assume to be so acceptable at truncating our achievement and aesthetics about accessible actualisation of the ethics of accelerating politics. And may we not become aimless victims of ability in Nigeria.
. Babalola is a Senior Abettor in the Office of the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Imo-Agege and can be accomplished via [email protected]
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